Very long ago, there was an American president who needed to travel by sea for an extended period of time. He preferred being a vegetarian. During the travel, he managed to eat vegetarian food for the first couple of days. As he watched his fellow travelers eat fish, he was swayed by it. His mind then thought of the logic stating ‘God created all beings to support one another, that is why the food pyramid exists. Thus, it’s okay to eat fish now’. After he reached the destination, he put his mind into work again to support his desire to go back to being vegetarian. So his mind found another logic stating, ‘we need not eat meat when we can survive comfortably on plant food’.

It is the same mind that made two statements. Which one of them is true?

The answer is depends on your goal. If your goal is to feed your body with what the heart desires for, then it’s okay to eat what you desire. If your goal is to stick to a principled lifestyle as defined in Vedic wisdom in attaining a higher state, then it’s not okay.

Here’s another instance a thief plans his work only after his mind somehow treats stealing as a valid job for him. His mind applies the following logic: ‘I have to feed my family. The other family is rich anyways, its fine to steal from those who will not suffer from what I steal’. When he gets caught and is in prison, the same mind repents and says, ‘I should have chosen a better way to make money. I miss my family.’

Mind’s Logic Versus Vedic Wisdom
Mind’s Logic Versus Vedic Wisdom

It is the same mind that made the two statements. Which one of them is true?

Again, it depends.  If your goal is to simply lead life through illegal means of earning money, then you will not even understand right versus wrong.  If your goal is to lead a principled life, then the latter thought is right.

Mind (budhi and intellect) has the ability to apply logic to satisfy the heart (manas). Manas keeps pushing the buddhi to make a firm decision so that it can move ahead with what its subjects desire. The five senses, indriyas, are its subjects and they crave for various pleasures. The senses are called indriyas because they feel that there is no other better enjoyment than what they perceive. (Indra = king of devathas)

  

The Vedas, however, have instructions that guide the self towards ultimate bliss and not the pleasures that the senses are after. The healthiest and the most recommended way to seek such wisdom is through a Guru, belonging to a lineage with roots at God’s lotus feet.

So, is it mind or Vedas that we must trust?

Trust in Vedic wisdom. Let your mind be a happy and productive tool in the path laid by it. 

Indriyebhyah parra hyaarthaah
Artebhyascha param manah
manasascha paraa buddhih
buddheraatmaa mahaan parah

Mahatah paramavyaktam
Avyaktaat purushah parah
Purushaanna param kimchit
Saa kaashtaa saa paraa gatih

– Katopanishad, Mantra – 10 & 11

– From the teachings of Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji
– September 26 th 2019
– Bhagavad Vishayam, JIVA


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